Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What happened? Did the Brave New World crash?

Some say this may only be interesting to old geezers, but young whipper-snappers might benefit a bit by paying attention, too, because with age comes wisdom. And this is it.

We supposedly live in an era of "technology", and on the surface that seems about right. But I've become convinced that bigger, shinier, newer, slicker, fancier, et al, isn't necessarily better.

What tipped the scales was the umpteenth failure of my wife's cell phone. Only it's no longer called a "cell" phone. Now it's a "smart" phone. Well, really, it's a smart broken phone. And when it's not broken it's about to break. Just biding it's time. Sitting there, lookin' smart and sassy, just waiting for the worst possible time to break again. And this past week-end it did. Break. Again.

I suppose that's what we get, buying stuff designed in another country and slapped together by who knows whom in Bangladesh or Botswana or Borneo - [does Borneo still exist?]. But if we can put a couple of guys on the moon, and then bring them home again. what's the big deal about manufacturing a smart phone that's both smart and durable? That's what we need. "Durable" phones. Phone's that will at least outlast the service contract period established for their use.

What really set me off was at about the same time the smarty-pants phone failed, I moved an antique [mid 1930's era] Silvertone floor model radio in our living room to retrieve something, and seeing it was so close to a wall socket, plugged it it. Wouldn't you know it? A few moments - and hums - later, the seeing eye thingy-mac-bob in the dial face came alive and glowed green again, and the speaker let out a burble or two - then settled in and played a far-away station. Faintly.

But it worked! Lovingly soldered together in Iowa or Milwaukee or Ohio seventy five years ago, or more, and it worked! Beloved's smart phone put together eighteen months ago in who-knows-where doesn't. Work. Grrrrr. Doesn't make sense.

OK, I'm beginning to sound a little like Andy Rooney, here. Next thing'll happen is hair will starting sprouting out of my ears. Ugh. Time to go.

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